wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Esports is Booming (Episode 99)

On today’s WJR Business Beat segment, Jeff talks about an industry experiencing positive, accelerated change during the pandemic: esports.

Esports is a burgeoning sector of the sports and entertainment world involving competitive video gaming, and its predicted that this year, U.S. esports ad revenues will grow 12 percent to just about $200 million.

Tune in to the Business Beat to hear more from Jeff:


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“So, what can we as entrepreneurs learn from all of this?

Well, first, stop asking when things will return to normal. Things are never going to be the same. We will have a new normal, and as an entrepreneur, you need to be thinking about ways to capitalize on what’s next, not what’s now, or what was.”

– Jeff Sloan

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

We know all too well that this pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses and business sectors, but it’s also shifting success to emerging sectors like video conferencing instead of traveling to take meetings. And how about buying online through e-commerce sites instead of shopping at brick-and-mortar retail stores, and the list goes on. Now, while many of these changes were afoot prior to the crisis, there is no questioning how the crisis has put these changes on overdrive and creating hyper growth in the emerging categories.

One such sector experiencing accelerated positive change? Esports. That’s right, in the wake of recent announcement of professional sports cancellations, esports is booming. If you’ve yet to hear about esports or don’t even know what it is, well, esports is a burgeoning sector of the sports and entertainment world involving competitive video gaming.

That’s right, instead of battling it out on the field or court, competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with at home gamers, like Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch just to name a few. And who would have thought that all of that online gaming you’ve been yelling at your kids about playing too much is now turning out to be one of the most successful sectors of business.

Sound crazy?

Well, many of the top gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world through streaming services, like Twitch, that allows viewers to watch as their favorite gamers play in real time. This year, U.S. esports ad revenues will grow 12 percent to just about $200 million.

So how and why did esports experience such a boom during the pandemic when other sports leagues are getting killed?

Esports quickly pivoted from competing in person inside venues to an online-only format where teams and production crews operate remotely.

So, what can we as entrepreneurs learn from all of this?

Well first, stop asking when things will return to normal. Things are never going to be the same. We will have a new normal, and as an entrepreneur, you need to be thinking about ways to capitalize on what’s next, not what’s now, or what was.

Just as the great Wayne Gretzky secret to success in hockey was to focus instead on where the puck is going, not where it is or even worse, where it’s been, your focus as an entrepreneur needs to be on which sectors are going to be hot in the future and taking steps now to be there, not where things have been.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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